Today we’re escaping for the weekend with my author friend, Brenda S. Anderson, to the North Shore on Lake Superior, Minnesota, USA. Brenda is giving us a tour of Lake Superior in her beautiful home state of Minnesota. Enjoy!
I’m blessed to live in Minnesota, a state with four seasons and 10,000+ lakes, so I don’t have to travel far when I need an escape. Just a short 2-1/2 hours north of my home in a northern Minneapolis suburb is some of the grandest, yet serene beauty in our world, especially during the fall when leaves turn multitudes of colors.
Our first stop is always the Canal Park area of Duluth. It’s a narrow peninsula that’s home to old warehouses and boutique shops, which alone make it a place of interest, but it’s the shoreline of Lake Superior that really draws the eye. Smart car-sized, ragged boulders are strewn along the shore. And jutting out from the shore is a concrete canal that ushers large freighters into the Duluth harbor. People love watching the Aerial Lift Bridge rise when a ship wants passage.
At the end of each side of the canal are lighthouses that look out to the great lake.
From Duluth we drive up along the North Shore taking Interstate 35 to its end where it becomes Minnesota 61. You veer off of 61 for several miles, taking the North Shore Scenic Drive which stays close to Lake Superior, offering breathtaking vistas as you drive.
On a typical visit, we’ll drive to Split Rock Lighthouse, roughly 48 miles from Duluth. This lighthouse was completed in 1910 after a 1905 hurricane-like storm on Lake Superior claimed many ships and lives. Today this lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States with its impressive rise above the oft-turbulent waters. And while it’s no longer used to warn ships of rocky danger, this lighthouse is a very popular tourist destination.
Heading back toward Duluth from Split Rock Lighthouse, we stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park. This park is home to a series of spectacular falls carrying Gooseberry River waters out to Lake Superior. It’s easy to spend an entire day traversing the trails, viewing the falls from various angles, then making your way to Superior. At the time the picture below was taken, we’d had a fairly dry summer, so the falls weren’t roaring as much as they usually do. Still, it’s a fantastic site!
Then heading home, it wouldn’t be a trek to the North Shore without stopping at the most quaint candy shop ever, the Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen. This shop is located on the North Shore Scenic Drive in the little town of Knife River. The store’s just a half a block off the lake. You won’t find any processed, shipped candy here. It’s all made on site, the old-fashioned way, and it’s all mouth-watering, eyes-roll-back-in-your-head delicious.
So, if you’re ever in Minnesota, take the short jaunt up along the North Shore. And if you want to make more than a single day of it, you can drive all the way to the Canadian border, and take in even more spectacular beauty!
Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
Her debut novel, CHAIN OF MERCY, came out in April of 2014, and PIECES OF GRANITE, a prequel, will release in November of 2014.
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